Newsline for March 17, 2020

Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford

“But [Jesus] would withdraw to deserted places and pray…. [And] the power of the Lord was with him to heal” (Luke 5:16-17–the scripture for the March 16 meditation in “Holy Manna,” the Brethren Press 2020 Lenten devotional)


1) Christian Citizenship Seminar 2020 is cancelled
2) New webpage provides ministry resources for congregations and church leaders

A thought for today:

“Again and again, I’m reminded of Jesus’ words: ‘Apart from me you can do nothing’ (John 15:5)…. When we think of Jesus being tested, we may picture Jesus in the wilderness or in Gethsemane, as though those were his only ordeals. But in truth, Jesus faced all kinds of trials on a daily basis, such as stubborn disciples, lethal adversaries, people with dread diseases and demonic possession. The key to his grace, wisdom, and power in each of these situations is his consistent practice of daily prayer.”

— Excerpt from Paula Bowser’s March 16 meditation in “Holy Manna,” the Brethren Press 2020 Lenten devotional.

1) Christian Citizenship Seminar 2020 is cancelled

By Becky Ullom Naugle

Due to the continued concerns related to the coronavirus, Christian Citizenship Seminar (CCS) 2020 has been cancelled. Staff laments this cancellation but cannot continue making plans in the current environment.

Had the event taken place as planned on April 25-30, more than 40 youth and advisors from 11 districts would have gathered in New York City and Washington, D.C., to study economic justice.

The staff of Youth and Young Adult Ministries and the Office of Peacebuilding and Policy, who plan this event, look forward to next year’s event. As a reminder, CCS is open to those in senior high and to young adults who are in their first year of college or are age-equivalent. Even this year’s high school seniors have another chance at attending this empowering and inspiring event next year!

If you have questions, please contact the Youth and Young Adult Ministries Office at 847-429-4385.

— Becky Ullom Naugle is director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries for the Church of the Brethren.

2) New webpage provides ministry resources for congregations and church leaders

A new webpage with resources for congregations and church leaders during the COVID-19 pandemic has been posted at . This webpage, which will be updated on a regular basis, is focused on ministry resources to support congregations and church leaders during a time when congregations may not gather in person.

Brethren Disaster Ministries continues to offer a webpage with guidance for emergency planning by churches and measures for prevention and mitigation of the spread of the virus at .

Denominational staff are among those contributing to the new webpage of ministry resources, along with other church leaders. The page currently offers links to webinars, lists of congregations from across the denomination that are offering online worship and other online services, and a box with information about ethical use of music resources when streaming worship online.

A map of congregations offering online worship is posted at the bottom of the new webpage and will be updated as new information comes in. To add a congregation to this map, send the congregation’s name, city, state, online worship time, and online link for people to join in worship by email to .


A Zoom meeting for Church of the Brethren ministers, hosted by Bethany Theological Seminary, is planned for tomorrow, Wednesday, March 18, from 12 noon to 1 p.m. (Central time). “This is a place for pastors and ministering persons to chat about how they are doing, how their ministry is evolving under current social restrictions, and to share prayer and ideas,” said an announcement. For more information go to .

“How Your Church Can Be Faithful During Coronavirus” offered by Fresh Expressions and Missio Alliance takes place tomorrow, Wednesday, March 18, at 1:30 p.m. (Eastern time). Go to .

“A Faith Response to COVID-19″ is offered tomorrow, Wednesday, March 18, at 11 a.m. (Eastern time) to discuss legislation and Congressional response to the crisis with national religious leaders including leadership of the National Council of Churches. “Hear the latest update from what’s happening in Washington and what you can do. People of faith have a particularly important role to play in helping to shape Congressional action,” said an invitation. Register on Zoom at .

The Office of Ministry is planning to offer a webinar for pastors next week focused on sharing innovative ideas for planning alternate worship services during Holy Week, for example creative responses for love feast planning. Stay tuned for details.

Contributors to this issue of Newsline include Josh Brockway, Stan Dueck, Jan Fischer Bachman, Nancy Sollenberger Heishman, Nate Hosler, Becky Ullom Naugle, and editor Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services for the Church of the Brethren. Newsline is the email news service of the Church of the Brethren. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. Please send news tips and submissions to . All submissions are subject to editing. Find the Newsline archive at . Sign up for Newsline and other Church of the Brethren emails, or make changes to your subscription, at .

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